Crack Cocaine FAQ

How is crack cocaine different from cocaine?

Crack is made from powdered cocaine. In order to make it possible to smoke, it has been washed with either liquefied baking soda or with ammonia.

Why does it turn into little rocks?

As the washed “crack” cocaine dries, it forms into the rocks that are sold for smoking.

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Why do people smoke crack instead of using cocaine?

Smoking crack increases the rush that cocaine provides. It is delivered much faster and lasts for shorter periods of time. However, most users agree that their first hit of crack was so intense they chased it for years without ever experiencing that same feeling. It is also cheaper.

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Can you become addicted after using it once?

The answer to this question is YES! Nearly every crack user, even those with only short term use, stated that the first hit was so powerful that they wanted more after the very first hit.

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Why do crack addicts look so old/bad?

The way that crack works in the brain and the body of a user ages them incredibly fast. Crack users appear thin and gaunt, both of which are factors in looking older. Due to insomnia and loss of appetite, users look tired and worn down. Their bodies are malnourished and some users lose their teeth as well. But their skin and hair look drab from lack of nourishment.

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How do you get clean from crack?

Crack is one of the easiest drugs for physical withdrawal, but one of the most difficult for psychological dependence. It is entirely possible to stop use and never pick it up again. Getting clean is a matter of staying off the drug for good. The tendency to become addicted to crack, though, is high because that euphoria calls the user.

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If I'm pregnant, will crack affect my baby?

Babies born to crack cocaine users/abusers frequently have mild addictive behaviors at birth. Though the brain damage and heart problems that were reported in the 1990s have not been consistently found amongst children born to crack addicts, there have been frequent instances of smaller birth weight and complications caused by physical withdrawal symptoms in newborns. Drug use of any kind will impact your unborn child. If there is any possibility that you are or may become pregnant, be sure to work with a doctor to optimize your unborn child’s health and to get off drugs right away. This is equally true for nursing mothers.

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Why are the laws regarding crack so much tougher than for cocaine?

In 1986, the influx of so much crack cocaine into the US created fear that it was an epidemic that would take over the country. Therefore, laws were passed in 1986 to increase sentences for those who sold even small amounts of crack. The reasoning behind strict crack laws was to stop it from being sold to younger populations and to those who could not afford to buy in large quantities, even though those people were becoming addicted. It was believed that use by minorities and inner-city poor would lead to increased addiction in this country and higher rates of crime in the inner cities. These laws were later overturned so that crack was no more illegal than cocaine or any other controlled substance.

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How can I help someone who has overdosed?

Users have been known to go into cardiac arrest. They will sometimes smoke crack for hours without eating or sleeping and overdose on crack. When this happens, be sure to notify emergency responders and give the user CPR if possible.

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